An Oxford Brookes University hall of residence was evacuated last night after a student left a cooking pan unattended.

The pan caught fire at Crescent Hall in Crescent Road, Cowley, filling the ground-floor kitchen and two staircases with smoke.

Seventy-two students who heard the fire alarms go off at about 6.30pm evacuated the building while 16 firefighters from Rewley Road and Slade Park fire stations tackled the blaze.

Station manager Guy Dunkley, who attended the incident, said: "The students followed the right procedure and evacuated the building straight away, which certainly made our job easier.

"A male student in his late teens left a frying pan unattended on the heat, which then caught fire.

"The student came back and tried to tackle the fire himself and suffered minor burns to his hands and was treated at hospital after he breathed in smoke.

"Students in hall need to take care when they are using the kitchens."

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The blaze was quickly controlled by firefighters who used fans to clear the building of smoke.

Crew manager Kevin Morgan, based at Slade Park, added: "I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the importance of being vigilant while cooking, and not to leave cooking unattended at any time.

"I would also like to remind new students to the universities to stick to university fire safety procedures.

"If a fire is discovered, get out, call the fire service and stay out."

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